Briarwood softball team makes Regionals

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

BIRMINGHAM – Thanks to two wins against the Ramsay Rams in the Class 5A Area 8 softball tournament, the Briarwood Lions are headed to Regionals after a strong run in the last three weeks of the season.

While Briarwood lost its second game of the tournament to John Carroll, the Lions bounced back to stave off elimination with a 16-5 victory against the Rams on Thursday, May 2, which clinched a spot in the Regional round of the postseason.

In that clinching victory, Briarwood scored all 16 runs in a span of four innings thanks to posting two in the first, four in the second, three in the third and seven in the fourth to end the mercy-rule victory in five innings.

The Lions gave up just one run in the first, and then four in the fourth, but after giving up those four runs, that’s when they bounced back with the big seven-run inning to claim the victory.

A big reason for the win was the 13 hits Briarwood was able to total in the game led by Blakley Watts with a 3-for-4 game featuring one RBI and two runs scored.

Cameron Fountain led the team in RBIs with a game-high four behind two hits, while Sydnee Shirley added three RBIs with one hit. Jaddin Glenn and Callie Mann each added two hits with one RBI apiece, while Caroline Campbell added two hits. Julia Vincent picked up the final RBI with a 1-for-3 game at the plate.

Fountain got the start in the circle and allowed six hits with two earned runs while striking out five. Campbell closed out the final 1 1/3 innings by allowing no hits and striking out one.

Briarwood also got the opportunity to open the tournament against the Rams and pulled off a massive comeback in the game to keep from falling directly into the loser’s bracket, which gave the Lions a huge advantage at advancing.

The Lions trailed 5-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh, and looked to be heading toward an opening-game loss, but they still went to the plate hoping for a big rally.

And in three of the first four at bats in the inning, the Rams helped get that rally started thanks to an error and two hit batters loading the bases with just one out.

Then stepped to the plate Glenn, who took the first pitch she saw and drove it to left field for a two-RBI single, which allowed the Lions to pull within two runs at 5-3.

After a second out was recorded, Briarwood continued its comeback with a two-out rally. Following a walk to load the bases again, Cambpell drove in a run with a single to trim the deficit to one and keep the bases loaded.

Then a bases-loaded walk brought the important game-tying run home to equal the score at 5-5 with the bases still full. With Taylor Wheat on third base as the game-winning run, she took advantage of a passed ball during the next at bat and sprinted home to safely touch the plate and complete a five-run comeback in the final inning.

In the win, Briarwood was led by Campbell with a 3-for-4 game featuring three RBIs, while Glenn went 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Watts also added Briarwood’s only other hit in the game.

Campbell pitched a complete game in the circle and struck out 11 batters while only three of the five runs given up were earned. She also allowed just six hits in the winning effort.